City Council Approves Grant for Police Equipment; Votes to Dissolve Olive TIF Commission
The City Council of University City votes to pursue grant that will pay for new guns and vests for police officers.
Monday night the city council voted to postpone taking action on Bill 9115 (listed below) that deals with compensation paid to city officials and employees of University City.
- BILL 9115-An ordinance fixing the compensation to be paid to city officials and employees as enumerated herein from and after its passage, and repealing Ordinance No 6845.
Ward 3 Councilmember Byron Price said he wanted more information on the bill. City Manager Lehman Walker said he would provide that to Councilmember Price.
The council approved the city's application for a grant to purchase equipment for the police department. The University City Police Department will buy 12 tactical rifles and six ballistic vests for a total of $24,000. The amount will be covered by the grant, which requires no matching funds.
The council also voted to approve Bill 9119, which dissolves the Olive Boulevard Central Tax Increment Financing Commission, district, and redevelopment plan. However, before the bill was approved, there was some back and forth between councilmembers over it.
Councilmember Price wanted to know what happens to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds once the commission is dissolved. However, his concern proved moot.
"The Olive Central TIF District has no money," Director of Community Development Andrea Riganti told council. "There is no money to return to any of the taxing districts. All the funds have been expended on projects in accordance with the redevelopment plan."
Riganti said the TIF borrowed money from the city to acquire nine properties on Olive and owes the city approximately $1 million.
Paul Martin, special counsel to the Olive Boulevard Central TIF, told the council that not passing the bill might potentially put the city in a messy situation.
"You get into a difficult legal position in terms of the ownership of the properties. The properties are now titled in the TIF's name," Martin said.
"If you don't get those properties transferred to the city and the TIF commission expires of its own accord in November then you have a difficult title situation that makes it a heck of a lot harder to transfer those properties to any would be developer," Martin said.
“The plan has been excecuted. It's time to shut it down and let the city do what it wants with these properties,” Martin said.
In other news, Mayor Shelley Welsch said she attended a recent meeting on the Loop Trolley and "if all goes according to plan, the trolley will be up and running spring 2013."
Ward 2 Councilmember Lynn Ricci announced that the parks commission will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Commons. It's a makeup session for last week's meeting that lacked a quorum.